chocolate + almond swirl bread


happy mother's day weekend! may all the rain go away & may we finally get just one day of sunshine this spring. if not, what is a better reason then rain to stay inside & bake up a storm? before we get talking about this chocolate + almond swirl bread, i want to share my mother's day feature that is going live in tomorrow's national post. that's right, the national post !!!! BAKE THE SEASONS was chosen as cookbook of the week & food writer laura brehaut is sharing a few recipes from the book that are perfect for mother's day brunch. check out the full article online here, titled "bake the best of the seasons this mother's day". if you still haven't figured out a gift for your mom, pick her up a copy of bake the seasons & surprise her with a homemade treat from the book!

now, let's talk about this swirl bread. this yeast based bread is simple to whip up & is quite the show stopper to serve. the dough itself is a traditional sweet dough, but the filling is a mixture of dark chocolate & bob's red mill's super-fine almond flour. i used almond extract (as well as the obvious vanilla extract) in both the dough & filling to give it an extra almond kick. the flakes of salt on top offset the sweetness in the dough & filling. also, this recipe yields ONE loaf. every recipe i came across during my sweet bread research yielded two loaves. i thought to myself, i can't be the only one who wants to make a single loaf of bread for sunday morning! so here you have it, a one loaf recipe for chocolate + almond swirl bread. if you did want two loaves (& i really am the only one who wants a single batch recipe), just simply double it!


for the sweet bread

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warm to touch
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups bob's red mill's all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

for the filling

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup bob’s red mill’s super-fine almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon quality honey
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 pinch fine salt
  • flakey salt, for topping


for the sweet bread

  • in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the milk. evenly sprinkle the yeast over the milk & let stand for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
  • whisk in the sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla & almond extract.
  • turn the mixer onto low speed & add the flour one cup at a time followed by the salt. once flour is incorporated, turn the mixer onto medium speed & knead dough for 5 minutes.
  • shape dough into a ball & transfer to a lightly greased bowl. cover with a towel & let rest for two hours, until dough doubles in size.
  • while the dough rest, prepare the filling.

for the filling

  • in a saucepan over low heat melt the butter. whisk in the almond flour, honey, chocolate, vanilla extract, almond extract & salt until smooth. set aside to cool slightly.

to assemble

  • grease & line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thick 10 x 12 inch rectangle.
  • spread the filling in an even layer on the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
  • roll the filled dough tightly into a cylinder, as if you were making cinnamon buns. pinch the ends closed to ensure no additional filling escapes. transfer to a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap & place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.
  • once dough has chilled, place back onto a lightly floured surface. with a sharp knife or kitchen sheers, slice the dough completely in half vertically.
  • cinch the top ends together & carefully twist each strand with the cut sides facing upwards. cinch the bottom ends & transfer to prepared loaf pan tucking the cinched ends under.
  • cover with a cloth & allow dough to rise for an additional 30 minutes. during this time, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • bake for 10 minutes, lower oven to 350 degrees & bake for an additional 25-30 minutes.
  • cool slightly before removing from pan & slicing.
  • enjoy fresh within 48 hours or freeze it for up to two weeks.